The Leek Moorlands Hospital consultation has been postponed – for a second time.
The latest reason for the postponement is due to the recently announced forthcoming General Election. We contacted the North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group, to ask them to confirm if the consultation would be postponed again, following Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement last week to hold a General Election in June. A spokeswoman for the CCG said today (Tuesday, April 25):
CCG Statement (Part.1)
“We will not be launching any public consultation during purdah. “Added to this, we have to go through the formal NHS England Assurance process including the Clinical Senate before we get the go ahead. This is particularly important since Simon Stevens introduced the three tests on anything relating to Community Beds. “At this stage, we haven’t got a start date for consultation. “
So once again the consultation is delayed. This ‘purdah’ excuse keeps rearing its’ head and we are powerless to appeal against it.
‘Purdah’ defines the pre-election period between election announcement and final results, which allows for the temporary suspension of activity/caution on announcing any potentially controversial changes in local government, which could have a bearing on matters relevant to the election.
Is it being delayed because they can’t tick one of the boxes to the tests listed below? The three tests are listed here:
NHS (Three Tests)
From 1 April, local NHS organisations must show that significant hospital bed closures subject to the current formal public consultation tests can meet one of three new conditions before NHS England will approve them to go ahead:
- Demonstrate that sufficient alternative provision, such as increased GP or community services, is being put in place alongside or ahead of bed closures, and that the new workforce will be there to deliver it; and/or
- Show that specific new treatments or therapies, such as new anti-coagulation drugs used to treat strokes, will reduce specific categories of admissions; or
- Where a hospital has been using beds less efficiently than the national average, that it has a credible plan to improve performance without affecting patient care (for example in line with the Getting it Right First Time programme)
The very same person who wrote these steps ‘Simon Stevens’, stated last month, that some parts of the country were “substantially overspending their fair shares” of funding and has set all 44 of these local areas a maximum acceptable deficit this year. Yes, I’m sure you have guessed – Staffordshire is on the list accused of “living off bailouts” from other parts of the country. (full article – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/spendthrift-nhs-regions-face-big-cuts-cv6c85t97) So reading the third ‘test’ again becomes rather more enlightening. Simon Stevens states 44 regions across the country are overspending or could it be he meant to say UNDERFUNDED?
CCG Statement (Part.2)
“We will however be focusing the consultation on the health services that people need in their local area. There seems to be a ground swell to ‘Save Leek Hospital’ and the services within it. It is exactly about those services and where they should be, based on need, that we will be asking people to co-design with us.”
The last bit of their statement is the one they keep pushing at us and it involves the word ‘services’, this is where you have to READ between the lines. Leek Moorlands Hospital offers a whole host of services and a list of these are available on our website (http://www.saveleekhospital.online/this-is-what-we-are-fighting-for). The consultation shouldn’t have anything to do with services. The CCG want to CLOSE OUR BEDS which is what the THREE tests listed above REFER to, so why do they keep sidestepping the issue of the beds and keep on about services??
This is because the ‘services’ don’t have to be situated at the hospital, they could be mobile. We could have a mobile X-RAY unit once or twice a week to replace the perfectly fine and functioning X-RAY unit already in place which serves WELL ABOVE the quota needed for it to be situated there. They want us to take our attention AWAY from the actual CRUX of the consultation and our campaign, which is the BEDS and what the three NHS TESTS refer to.
Did you know that the beds are FULL at our hospital? If they are full, then why should we be closing them?
IF WE LOSE THE BEDS, WE LOSE THE HOSPITAL
The Leek Moorlands Hospital consultation was initially postponed due to next week’s Staffordshire County Council’s elections. Even though the consultation has now been postponed, we will use this time to further strengthen the campaign and continue to raise awareness of the forthcoming consultation, lobby those accountable for any decisions set to be made about the hospital, as well as, gather evidence (such as petition signatures and comments from hospital users) to be able to present a good case in our bid to save our beloved Leek Moorlands Hospital.